The families and friends of joggers Karina Vetrano in Howard Beach and Vanessa Marcotte in Princeton, Mass., are devastated by the violent murders, but they are also expressing anger and calling out the murderers who assaulted their loved ones. A funeral for Vanessa Marcotte and a memorial walk for Karina Vetrano both took place yesterday, and both events had an outpouring of grief, fear, and anger that such crimes could take place within their communities. Meanwhile, the investigations continue, and there is hope that DNA will lead to an arrest.
In the case of Vanessa Marcotte, murdered in Princeton, Mass., investigators were able to get foreign DNA from the body, despite the killer’s efforts to cloak his identity by lighting the body on fire, the Inquisitr reported. Massachusetts State Police have also indicated that they are speaking with a person of interest, as well as investigating two people seen at a local ski resort with cuts and scrapes, behaving oddly.
But in Queens, New York, the parents of Karina Vetrano are doing what they can to flush out the man who assaulted and murdered their beloved daughter, whose pictures on Facebook and other social media depict a young woman with a zest for life, says CBS News. A reward, which has soared up to $250k, is being offered by Vetrano’s parents, and a second reward for $20k is being offered for tips that lead to an arrest through CrimeStoppers.
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But Phil Vetrano, father of Karina Vetrano, is taking it one step further, and offering the $250k to the murderer if he turns himself in.
“Turn yourself in. I will make sure the reward money goes to the person of your choice. Your sister, your brother, your mother. It’s a life changer.”
Karina Vetrano was strangled and sexually assaulted. Her body was found by her father, Phil Vetrano, face down with her teeth broken, scrapes on her legs, and her sports bra and shorts pulled down — a sight that he will never forget. The fund Phil Vetrano is referring to is a GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign that the community organized.
“You will be caught, so take advantage of that (offer).”
Hundreds of people turned out to walk Karina Vetrano’s last steps, a trail of tears, holding balloons and chanting about justice for Karina. Cathy Vetrano, Karina’s mother, spoke to the crowd with pain in her voice.
“He’s a weak, evil piece of s**t, and that’s too good to call him.”
Phil Vetrano was one of hundred of people who released a balloon in honor of his daughter.
“Turn yourself in,” he said. “Turn yourself in.”
Vanessa Marcotte was laid to rest in Leominster, Mass., the town in which she was born, and the city is reportedly heartbroken, per the Sentinel and Enterprise. Family and friends tried to put aside their pain to speak of Vanessa Marcotte’s character and grace. Leah Abrahams, one of Marcotte’s closest friends, eulogized her to the packed church.
“You epitomize grace, light, humility and absolute magic.”
The Reverend Dennis O’Brien preferred to speak of the way Vanessa lived rather than focus on the violent way the Google employee died.
“I purposely did not begin my homily today by speaking of Vanessa’s death, tragic and senseless as it truly is, because her life is what should be the headline story in every paper across the country.”
In addition to friends and family, police, politicians, and even strangers crowded into the service for Marcotte, many saying that they just wanted to bow their heads. A local city councilor spoke briefly, saying that he now has a better sense of who Marcotte was, and what she gave to her community, wherever she was.
“We all learned a lot about her today with the beautiful words that were shared at the church.”
Princeton, Mass., police say that they have now received over 600 tips in reference to the murder of Vanessa Marcotte
Police are asking that anyone who has even the smallest clue to call the police numbers given.
Members of the public are asked to call the state police tip line at 508-453-7589, the state police detectives assigned to the Worcester County District Attorney’s office at 508-453-7589, or the Princeton Police Department at 978-464-2928.
Do you think the murders of Vanessa Marcotte and Karina Vetrano are merely a coincidence, or a copy cat?
[Photo by Seth Wenig/AP Images]